The lack of in-season testing in 2009 will not result in the Formula One title battle being all but decided by the performance of the cars at the first race, believe Ferrari.
Formula One teams are working flat out to ensure that they are in the best shape as possible for the start of the campaign - amid fears that teams that start the year behind may be unable to make up for lost ground now that there is no testing.
However, Ferrari's technical director Aldo Costa thinks there will still be enough scope for teams to keep improving their cars throughout the campaign.
"We are accustomed to thinking that if there is a technical possibility to achieve an objective we will achieve it - but it will be more difficult," said Costa at the launch of the new F60 at Mugello in Italy.
"If there is a difference then we expect to have the possibility to recover. Although it will certainly be harder because of the mileage, the new components and the general reliability. And although the task is much more difficult, I guess it is also much more possible."
Ferrari's chief designer Nikolas Tombazis thinks that the development potential means that there is every chance of the title battle going all the way to the season finale again.
"It is not only about winter development but maybe the final result will be decided during the last race," he said. "The car used in Australia will not be the one that will be used at the last race.
"The new rules and regulations are quite fresh, and we have just introduced some very general and very raw developments. So I don't know what the car will look like at the end of the season."